Thursday, June 7, 2012

Gender Roles in the Economic World

Gender Roles in the Economic World
By Jonathan Solares
          Throughout the history of mankind the roles of gender have changed and evolved. In the ever changing world we live in, the income and roles played within a work environment have changed since the generations of x, y, baby boomers, and millennium. Due to many movements and organizations there have been changes to how the way women are treated and paid in the work environment.
         One of the major changes of the past couple decades has been that of a woman's position in that society, prestige, and working environment. The gender roles a woman plays in a working environment and how they are treated have been fought in many courts and protested by many movements, though most of these have been successful some have not. Although we live in a now very open and liberal world women are still not viewed as equals in the work environment, although the difference in pay is much less than before. The positions women can take are much wider than say in the 70's.
        An interesting example of positions a woman can take in a work place is that of a nurse which used to be a purely male position of labor before The United States Civil War and then a rise in female nurses increased to the point that it became a female dominated position of labor. This was until more modern times where ironically history has begun to repeat in that there has been a steady rise in amount of males in the position of being a nurse. In present times almost any position of the labor force that is available to a man is also now available to a woman.
        The percentage of women in the workforce has also increased considerably from the 1950's. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states "In 1950 about one in three women participated in the labor force. By 1998, nearly three of every five women of working age were in the labor force. Among women age 16 and over, the labor force participation rate was 33.9 percent in 1950, compared with 59.8 percent in 1998." The Bureau also goes to state "As more women are added to the labor force, their share will approach that of men. In 2008, women will make up about 48 percent of the labor force and men 52 percent. In 1988, the respective shares were 45 and 55 percent." The present amount of difference in weekly wages varies due to race, ethnicity and age though the difference between wages is between 100-500 USD. Women are paid 80% of their male counterparts, a 20% difference. This compared with the percentage it used to be before the 80’s are very much considerable. Even with the Equal Pay Act of 1963 there is still a considerable difference in pay though not as much as there used to be.  These rights for equal wages have been fought since before the sixties and are apparent that it will be fought for many more years to come until there is true equality between sexes.
          The way a woman is treated in the work environment. This subject is sometimes a touchy subject with certain people. This is due to many people having different opinions on gender roles in society and the work environment. It is due to varying age differences, and liberal standing within a work environment. Even though our civilization has become more liberal there are still many prejudices that people have not just accepted that deal with ethnicity, but also with gender and roles that each gender should play in not only a work enviornment but also in marriage and family.
          There are still many people who believe in the old idea that women should not work and instead it should be solely the male who should be the bread winner of the family. Then there are those who believe a woman should be able to fend for herself and should make a name for them. There are mixes of the two also. However, in past times women weren’t even allowed to work or even speak their mind. Also before almost all of society would consider less than human they were degraded and not even allowed to talk in social groupings. Things began to change after the Dark ages women started to become more liberal. By the time after United States Civil War it had begun to become common to see women in the work environment. Then beginning in the 60's there began movements for more equal rights for women.
           Movements in the 50's that had led to the anti discrimination and equal rights laws, had affected the mindset of the world. These movements started by people such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X affected the laws of discrimination and laws of equal rights. Not only did the movments in the 50's change a large portion of peoples perception of race and ethniticity but also that of gender. This paved the way for the Feminist and Equal Rights movements of the following decades. These movements paved the way for women to have the ability to vote and serve in carious positions of government that were unavaliable in past times. Eventually more rights have been given to women, women are not viewed as less human because of being a female, and gender is now less discriminated against, though some laws and rights are still being fought. Sexisim has decreseaed in a large percentage in the past century and we will continue to see widespread changes in this aspect for many years and possibly decades to come.
          From what we have seen and noticed in history the way women are seen has changed considerably from before. Though still not viewed as equals there has been much change in the view people have of women, their social position, their rights and legal status. This will continue to evolve as the view of both genders will continue to change and as will the equality of rights and laws of not only race and ethnicity, but also that of gender. The inequality in the labor force will also change hopefully for the better.

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